Week 1 - It's Raining!

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June 18th 2011
Published: June 18th 2011
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Monday 13th June

Up at stupid o'clock to get an 9 o'clock ferry from Dover.
Rain and fog all the way, we're really glad to see the back of the UK for a few weeks.
Calais – same as the UK!! more rain!
Hit the peage to get to Reims asap. Which, fortunately, was sunny on arrival.
A brief walk in to town, and beer while sitting in the sun, watching the world go by.
(Lucy would like to mention how nice the trees smelt with there upside down yellow flowers!)

Back to the hostel, and a picnic in the park with a bottle of the local vino. 😊

Tuesday 14th June

Wake up to more rain, decision made....... hit the peage and get south for some sun!
Several hours riding south, the sun finally breaks through the cloud and we peel off the motorway somewhere between Dijon and Lyon to find somewhere to sleep for the night.
A tiny village to the east of Bourg-en-Basse, nice little campsite by the river.
Another picnic and another bottle of wine by the river with a chorus from what we thought was a duck in distress, turned out to be a gaggle (?) of frogs (Not the locals) having a stand off from one bank to the other.

Wednesday 15th June

Finally wake up to a rain free day!
Waterproof romper suits stayed in the panniers today!
We stayed on local roads all the way to Italy, getting lost in Moutiers thanks to the French roadwork signage, or lack of, then again in Bourg St Maurice along with loads of other bikers. We decided to have lunch and watch everyone else that was lost go back and forth

Across the Col du Petit St Bernard. WOW awesome alpine road with magnificent views.
Seeing snow in the middle of June was a bit of a surprise considering how little we saw while we were in Switzerland!!

Then heading deeper into Italy and the National Park Gran Paradiso
The road up to the campsite, was , to put it mildly, f°*king awesome, was like having a racetrack all to ourselves. 16 miles of switchbacks with no traffic

Camping Gran Paradiso was at 1800meters, so although the sun was out, it was cool when we arrived, only to get a lot colder during the night.
Franco ( the campsite host/owner) greeted us and said we could camp anywhere, so we set up the tent and headed for the bar. 5 large bottles of beer later, they knew the British bikers had arrived 😊

Thursday 16th June

Bit of a lye in, waiting for the sun to come over the mountain top to warm us up.
Brekky of a croissants and pain of chocolate. And of course Gary's coffee

Time for a hike! Off to the Refugio Chabod!
From the campsite, Franco said we didn't need a map, as it was an easy route to find.............

Was easy to find..... but straight up!! 3hours and 900 metres later we finally got to the top, just a little tired...... and so back to the campsite!
Another 2 ½ hours down! With just a little whinging and moaning from Lucy “I had a bad ankle!!!”
we finally manage to get back to the campsite for a well earned beer, literally minutes before the heavens opened ..... again...... this time with thunder.

Friday 17th June

Blue skies again this morning, but a cold and wet night!
We pack up and head off to the Italian Lakes.
A windy ride through the valley Aosta heading to Biella, we found an internet cafe to look for accommodation.
No camping tonight! A little bit of luxury or just something a bit warmer and drier???

About, 15 – 20 miles outside of Orta, it started to rain , so we stopped, put the waterproofs on, headed into Orta. Drove past some girls, dressed to the nines, in the middle of nowhere, at the side of the road, waiting........... maybe their Dad was coming to pick them up!

The closer to Orta we got the heavier the rain got, to the point where visibility was down to about 50meters. Our campsite was away from Pettenesco, up the mountain about 3 km , this was like riding up a river!
Finally arrived like a couple of drowned rats and asked for a chalet, and was offered a caravan.... bloody luxury!
Now food/booze! Local shops had nothing in them and the nearest supermarket is 8km away.
What a ride!! water so deep the wash from the front wheel was coming over our knees, and the wash from other cars was coming over our heads!
Waterproofs? Not! We should've been wearing bloody wetsuits!!

We going to stay in our caravan to dry off while it rains again tomorrow

Saturday 18th June

Ate, drank, was merry, stayed in and dryed off!

Photo's to follow when we find a decent internet cafe with the ability to do such a modern technical miracle.

Additional photos below
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18th June 2011

Hi guys thanks for the updates, hope the weather improves, but sounds like your enjoying anyway! Glad your making time for beer, hope u get to sample a few regional ales! Good luck with the photos, looking forward to seeing them. Ciao.
29th June 2011

so far ,so good my little ones
just a short one to say how proud i am of you both , you,ve managed to get a long way in only 2 wks,--i,m so envious, and wish i had a harley to chase you up !!! keep on trucking, be safe, and do,nt forget to wash behind your ears----dadxxxxx
30th June 2011

looking good!
looks like you're having a great time!! lots of love and hugs xxxxx

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